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Posts tagged ‘Literary Awards’

Clade shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards

800px-Milky_Way_Night_Sky_Black_Rock_Desert_NevadaI’m thrilled to be able to announce that Clade has been shortlisted for the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction, alongside books by Miles Allinson, Elizabeth Harrower, Gail Jones, John Kinsella, Joan London, Susan Midalia and Tracy Ryan. The winner is announced on 3 October, but in the meantime the shortlists for all categories are available via the State Library of Western Australia. And on a more personal note I want to say how delighted I am to find myself sharing space on a shortlist with Joan London, a writer I admire enormously. My thanks to the judges and the organisers, and congratulations to all my fellow shortlistees.


Clade shortlisted for the 2016 ALS Gold Medal

CladeI’m delighted to be able to announce that Clade has been nominated for Australia’s oldest literary award, the ALS Gold Medal, which is both completely unexpected and a huge honour. My congratulations to the other shortlisted writers, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Drusilla Modjeska and Brenda Niall – it’s fantastic to be in such distinguished company – and my heartfelt thanks to the judges and the organisers of the prize, the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. The winner is announced on 6 July at the Association’s conference in Canberra.

Clade shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award

I’m delighted to be able to say that Clade has been shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award for Fiction at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: it’s a huge honour and I’m absolutely thrilled. The other nominees for the fiction award are Tony Birch’s Ghost River, Merlinda Bobis’ Locust Girl, Lisa Gorton’s The Life of HousesGail Jones’ A Guide to Berlin and Mireille Juchau’s The World Without Us, several of which I’ve read and loved, but I do recommend taking a few minutes to check out the shortlists for the other awards as well. The winner will be announced in Sydney on 16 May; in the meantime I note without comment that voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award, and that Clade is one of the eligible titles.

‘Visitors’ shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards

Pitcher PlantI woke up this morning to the very lovely news that my story, ‘Visitors’, which was published in the Review of Australian Fiction in the middle of last year, has been shortlisted for an Aurealis Award in the Short Fiction Category alongside stories by Margo Lanagan, Greg Mellor and Kaaron Warren.

Obviously being on the shortlist is pretty fabulous in itself, but I’m doubly pleased because it feels like a real vote of confidence in the time and effort the Review’s editor, Matthew Lamb, has invested in the publication. Matthew’s now editing Island (a process he spoke about recently) but in his time at the Review he helped create a space in which both new and established writers could stretch themselves and try new things, a process that’s paid off in spades over the past couple of years.

You can read the full list of finalists over on the Aurealis Awards website, and if you’d like to read the story itself it’s available for $2.99 through the Review of Australian Fiction (or you can get the whole of Volume 2 for $9.99). My congratulations again to all my fellow finalists (and in particular Margo Lanagan, whose novel, Sea Hearts, was also shortlisted for the Stella Prize earlier this week) and my thanks to the judges and organisers for all their hard work.

Oh, and the picture of the pitcher plant? If you read the story you’ll understand.

Literary Consolation Prizes

In the words of the immortal Homer J. Simpson, “it’s funny because it’s true”.


For more (or to order a poster) check out Grant Snider’s wonderful Incidental Comics.

The Voyagers wins FAW Christina Stead Award

Mardi McConnochie, The VoyagersI’m thrilled to announce my partner Mardi McConnochie’s most recent novel, The Voyagers, has won the FAW Christina Stead Award for Best Novel. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s a fantastic book and it totally deserves it. If you’d like to know more about it you can read Angela Meyer’s interview with Mardi or read the first chapter for free, otherwise you can find prices for print copies on Booko (or you can grab it for 20% off via Booktopia), or buy it in digital format from the Kindle, Kobo and iBook stores.

And while you’re there you might want to check out Mardi’s blog, which is a bit occasional (though no more so than this one has been lately) but very worth a look.

2011 Man Booker Prize Longlist Announced

Alan Hollinghurst

The big news overnight is the announcement of the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize. As usual it’s a mixed bag, with books by heavy-hitters such as Alan Hollinghurst rubbing shoulders with books by relative unknowns such as Esi Edugyan, but this year it’s also heavy on Canadians (Alison Pick, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan) and debut novels (Stephen Kelman, A.D. Miller, Yvette Edwards and Patrick McGuiness). There are no Australians on the list.

I’ve only read a handful of the books on the list, so I’m not going to offer any organised views about it beyond saying that while it looks like an interesting and reasonably diverse selection of books, the proof, as always, will be in what kind of shortlist it shakes out into.

Of the books I have read, I’m pleased to see Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side has made the cut: I’m reviewing it for The Australian so I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that while I’m not sure it’s quite as good as his extraordinary 2005 novel, A Long Long Way (if you haven’t read it do so, now) it’s a very fine novel. Likewise I’ve read part but not all of the Hollinghurst and while again I’m not convinced it has the urgency and unity of The Line of Beauty, it’s also very, very good. That said I reviewed Carol Birch’s Jamrach’s Menagerie, which is based on the wreck of the Whaleship Essex and was also longlisted for the Orange Prize, and while I like it, I’m a little surprised to see it turning up here, though that’s less because I don’t rate it as a book than because its brand of highly coloured, almost ecstatic historical fiction (think Golding rather than Mantel) seems a little at odds with the tone of the list as a whole.

Of the things I haven’t read I’ve heard uniformly terrific things about Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending, and I’m interested to see Jane Rogers, a writer who has been more than a little neglected in recent years make the list with what sounds like a piece of dystopian science fiction.

As always the other question is what’s not been included. The books the media have noticed are missing are Graham Swift’s Wish You Were Here and Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz. Of the two I’m unsurprised by the omission of the Swift, which I’ve reviewed for The Age, and while again I don’t want to preempt the review I will say is really quite bad. I’m more surprised about the Enright: while it’s not as striking or as urgent as either her short fiction or her 2007 Booker-winner, The Gathering, it’s a quite dazzling book at a textual and technical level, demonstrating not just great psychological and social acuity, but the marvellous combination of steeliness and orality that so distinguishes Enright’s prose. I’m also slightly surprised by the omission of Malcolm Knox’s The Life, which I assume was eligible for the prize, and should, all things being equal, have been in contention.

The other big omission is China Miéville’s Embassytown, which had been widely tipped to bring Miéville the mainstream recognition he so plainly deserves. I don’t want to revisit the genre vs literary argument here, but to my mind the failure to even longlist a novel as rich and prismatic as Embassytown says something about the narrowness of our literary culture.

I’m sure others can think of other SF and Fantasy books that perhaps should have been included, but I’d like to mention one in particular, which is Jo Walton’s Among Others. I have no idea whether it was even submitted, but if it wasn’t that seems a pity, since it’s both a wonderful novel and a book I suspect is likely to appeal to literary readers as much as it does to a segment of the SF and Fantasy readership. I’m planning to write something about it soon, so I won’t go on about it too much here, except to say I enjoyed it immensely, and it’s very definitely a book that deserves a wider readership.

Anyway, enough about me. You can read more about the list at The Guardian and The Independent (or anywhere, really), read the official announcement for more information about the prize and the judges, or find links to samples from the longlisted books on Galleycat. The shortlist is announced on Tuesday 6 September and the winner on Tuesday 18 October. The full longlist is below.

Update: Two more books I’m surprised aren’t on the list. The conclusion to Edward St Aubyn’s Melrose Trilogy, At Last, and my agent David Miller’s wonderful short novel about the death of Conrad, Today. I’m sure more will occur to me as the day goes on …

Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending
Sebastian Barry – On Canaan’s Side
Carol Birch – Jamrach’s Menagerie
Patrick deWitt – The Sisters Brothers
Esi Edugyan – Half Blood Blues
Yvvette Edwards – A Cupboard Full of Coats
Alan Hollinghurst – The Stranger’s Child
Stephen Kelman – Pigeon English
Patrick McGuinness – The Last Hundred Days
A.D. Miller – Snowdrops
Alison Pick – Far to Go
Jane Rogers – The Testament of Jessie Lamb
D.J. Taylor – Derby Day